A serene environment that fosters collaboration and personal growth. Adequate salaries. A welfare system that takes account of the employee’s personal life. Openness to diversity. These – according to the survey on the ideal company carried out by the Adecco Group, interviewing an extremely significant sample of candidates and HR managers – are the factors that turn a simple workplace into a “dream company”. This interesting survey, published for World Dream Day, held on the 25th of September, reveals a significant change that is starting to take place, especially among young people. The choice of workplace is no longer based merely on financial gain or self-affirmation. Instead, more and more importance is being placed on the possibility of expressing talent and on the establishment of a positive, collaborative climate. The only downside is that only a small percentage of candidates and HR managers – indeed, less than a third of the total – feel like they are already working in the company of their dreams.
The survey, entitled “A dream company”, involved 3,338 candidates and 241 HR managers, 52.9% of which were male and 47.1% female. The majority (33.4%) of candidates were millennials, aged between 25 and 34, followed by 35-44 year-olds (28.5%). The interviewees, therefore, were mostly young people, given that over 45s represented less than a third of the total sample. The average age group of the HR managers was a little older, with 67.6% falling in the 35-64 age bracket.
As mentioned earlier, the results do not paint a dream picture. Indeed, when asked, “do you work in a dream company?”, as many as 7 respondents out of 10 said no. HR managers were asked to identify the greatest “weakness” of their company, and their answers point the finger at the inability to scale the corporate ladder and the little space given to personal growth (31.1%), followed by salary dissatisfaction (15.3% complain of lower than average salaries) and by scarce or non-existent employee benefits (14.1%). So what is the fundamental requirement for a company to be considered a dream company? Candidates and HR managers see things very differently. For the former, the most important factor is the possibility of growing and getting ahead (25.5%), while for the latter it is essential to be able to express one’s talent (a factor that scored 10% less among candidates). However, everyone agrees on the second most important aspect of a dream company – to an almost identical extent (19.7% for candidates and 20.3% for HR managers) – and that is an “open, collaborative climate”. Taken individually, “time and workplace flexibility” is more important to HR managers (9.8% against 12%). Finally, it should be noted that for the vast majority of candidates (over 83%), it is essential to work in a serene, collaborative environment, while 74% place importance on factors such as innovation, technology and digital transformation.
HR managers were asked a question designed to reveal how they actively contribute to promoting a positive climate in the company, thus meeting the needs of candidates upon recruitment. The majority (47.3%) answered that they “promote the enhancement of skills and employee commitment”, followed by the sharing of best practices (24.2) and the promotion of opportunities to exchange thoughts with employees and listen to their needs (15.7).
My dream company offers the possibility of maintaining a constructive dialogue with managers, listening to proposals, assessing them objectively and giving clear feedback, whether positive or negative
Another aim of the survey is to determine how much weight candidates give to company welfare measures in choosing one company over another. The survey highlights a convergence between future employees and HR managers. Indeed, most of the former state that welfare measures influence their decision and are an element of attraction toward a given employer (61.7%). Most HR managers, instead, assert that such measures actually bring advantages to the company, in terms of employee retention (62.6%) but also attraction of talent (15.3%). Candidates and HR managers also agree on the most useful welfare measures, with family benefits ranking first in both cases (44.8% against 44.4%). For candidates, these are followed by medical (27.1%) and recreational (23.8%) benefits, while HR managers invert the trend, placing benefits such as travel and tickets for shows and cultural events above medical benefits.
Diversity & Inclusion
The survey also investigates the views of candidates on the most important benefits associated with a company that is open to “Diversity & Inclusion”. In almost eight out of ten cases (78.6%), the main benefit specified by candidates involves improvements in internal climate, employee motivation and employee retention. Just 8.5%, instead, believes that this factor does not bring any significant advantages (a percentage that drops to 6.8% among women). As regards HR managers, it is worth noting that 35.7% (41.4% in the case of executives) has observed an improvement in their own company with regard to openness to diversity and inclusion. Diversity is undoubtedly associated with corporate social responsibility, or CSR, which is starting – albeit hesitantly – to weigh on the decisions of candidates. For 18.8% of candidates (16.8% in the case of women), CSR does not influence the decision of what company to work for. However, in 42.5% of cases this aspect does influence their decision (although “decisively” in only 9% of cases). Instead, 38.6% of candidates feel that they aren’t sufficiently informed to be able to base their choice on this aspect, but that they need to “start assessing” the CSR policies of the companies that interest them.
More than a third of HR managers has noticed an improvement in the Diversity & Inclusion policies of their company, an aspect that is considered important by eight out of ten candidates.
“We are particularly satisfied with the high level of participation in our first survey on dream companies among candidates and HR managers”, commented Monica Magri, HR Director of the Adecco Group. “This confirms yet again the importance of a serene work environment in order to foster personal growth and the expression of talent. A part from financial aspects, which of course remain important, this emerges as a determining factor in defining a dream company. I should also like to point out the growing importance attributed to themes such as company welfare, openness to diversity or corporate social responsibility,” continued Ms Magri. “These are emerging themes that are gradually gaining increasing importance. I am convinced that if we were to repeat this survey in two or three years’ time, their weight would be even greater. It is important, therefore, to pay attention to these aspects and to work towards their achievement, so as to make every work environment respond more closely to the dream company we all would like to work in”.
The dream company, according to candidates, professionals and HR managers: the complete infographic.